A group of about a dozen students from Delhi High School have stepped up to form a new community service club known as “Helping Hawks.” The Helping Hawks, named after the school mascot, recently developed into a fully school sponsored club after several students served food at an area homeless shelter.
“A lot of people have a negative perception of Delhi, but we are full of dedicated kids and we want to change that perception,” said Helping Hawks founder and president Emmanuel Perez, a junior at Delhi. “I was born and raised in Turlock and I really wanted to give back to the community.”
For the club’s first service activity, students prepared and served breakfast at the We Care Program, a temporary men’s shelter in downtown Turlock, on Saturday. Some students arrived at 6 a.m. to prepare pancakes and eggs. Normally, the We Care Program does not provide shelter residents with breakfast on weekends but Helping Hawks students were willing and eager to provide hot food for hungry shelter residents.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize what homeless people go through. This experience has helped me to really appreciate what I have,” said Perez.
Matt Ward, a math teacher at Delhi, serves as club advisor and has been impressed with the students’ efforts.
“I’m thrilled with the actions the kids are making and it’s neat to see how they took ownership of the club from the very beginning. I think they are realizing that service not only lifts those you are serving but also helps you. The Helping Hawks club will be a success if we (teachers) find that in a few years, these same students are continuing to find ways to serve,” he said.
Shelter residents appreciated student efforts as well.
“The food was great; it was like a Denny’s grand slam. I’m just amazed at how these young people are stepping up and the homeless community really appreciates it,” said We Care resident Ignacio Hernandez.
In the future weeks and months, the Helping Hawks plan to visit a retirement home, a children’s hospital, and help at an animal shelter.
To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.